This is the last Simplicity 1577 (for a while, not the LAST ONE EVER), but this one? Is my absolute favorite. I never get tired of this dress:
BLACK SEERSUCKER. It’s the best fabric ever. I wish I’d bought all of this there ever was. This collar has a little bit of bad roll to it. (Oh! I tried Kathleen’s super collar instructions and it worked beautifully. Sneak peek picture here.)
The zipper is just, eh. A C:
The pockets and the collar are lined with black batiste — here’s the pocket:
And the collar (you can see the ripples from the seersucker):
And the back view:
I wear this either with black Justin boots or with these European grandma shoes that I searched for FOREVER and finally found on Etsy. (That’s the seller’s picture I pinned.) I wore them a couple of times and then the ancient glue holding the soles together gave up the ghost, so I had to have them resoled. (TOTALLY WORTH IT.) And sometimes I wear this dress with these ancient J. Crew ankle boots for maximum Dickensian glamour.
I wore this dress in Paris way back in 2011 and got stopped on the Champs Élysées by someone who asked me directions … in French. (NB: I do not speak French.) I figure that’s probably the best endorsement this dress could ever get. (I was actually able to give directions … they were asking where the Georges V was, and I’d just passed it and thought, “Oh hey, that’s the Georges V, that I always read about in novels!” I answered with some “straight on thataway” gestures and I think I was understood.)
Got a little bit of a late start today … but I bet you know what’s coming: another Simplicity 1577! And it’s a rare solid-fabric example of Erin-sewing, too:
You know how the camera adds ten pounds? Mine adds ten wrinkles.
This zipper is … not great.
Here’s the back:
And, of course, solid fabric means patterned pocket lining! This is Liberty:
I posted this one about a year ago, so if you want to see it on me, well, here you go.
Oh so guess what pattern I used to make today’s dress?
Yep, another Simplicity 1577. (That 1577 is still just the pattern number, not the grand total of versions I have made. Yet.)
Here’s a closer look at the bodice:
And in natural light:
This is Liberty Lemonia in the cotton poplin, which I can’t find extant anywhere anymore, although I did find this luscious (and expensive, of course!) silk chiffon version at Truro Fabrics. Has anyone ordered from them before? They have some really yummy stuff … but they don’t ship to the US.
This zipper, again, is no better than a C:
And here’s the back …
I haven’t worn this 1577 as much as it deserves, mostly because I’m always stumped by what shoes to wear with it. These are my favorite, but I don’t really wear heels on a daily (or weekly, or honestly, even monthly) basis any more … Ideally I would find the perfectly-pale-blue Keds to wear with this, but they don’t seem to exist. (Dear Keds, Y U NO have a custom-Keds site? Take that money you’re paying T-Swift and team up with Pantone instead. I would spend all my money there so I could have matching Keds for everything.)
Hey, did everyone see the super-nice slideshow Elle.com did of Dresses? Check it out!
Here’s another Simplicity 1577 (they keep going, and going …). This one is in Liberty city poplin:
I love this weight of Liberty, I wish they would make MUCH MUCH MORE of it. Here’s a closer view:
It’s a smooth, tight, silky weave, and heavier than Tana lawn. Here, look EVEN CLOSER:
The zipper on this one, though, is a C-. And that’s generous.
Here, you can see where I had to do a little bit of “there, I fixed it!” at the top:
Here’s the back view, for completeness’ sake:
And since y’all were so helpful with my collar question of yesterday (check out this FashionIncubator post), new question: how would you put a fuller skirt on this pattern? I don’t know whether it would be better to Frankenstein a skirt from another pattern, or whether I should suck it up and redraft this skirt (with its PERFECT POCKETS) to be fuller … and if the latter, how? Suggestions welcome!
I said there would be a lot of Simplicity 1577s this week, didn’t I? Here’s another one:
It’s from this Yuwa fabric that I bought back in 2009.I probably held on to it for at least two years before it became this dress.
I’m not happy with the collar. I know there’s some kind of undercutting trick you can do to keep this from happening, but I can never seem to find it. Does anyone have a link?
Here’s a fairly fuzzy view of the front:
And the side zip, this is a strong B, I think:
Back view, inadequate pressing:
And closeup back view … I almost got those stripes matched! (Actually, I am pretty sure this was inadvertent.)
I love this dress but man oh man, are those colors hard to match. They’re all slightly off from any cardigans I actually have, so I end up wearing this dress only when it’s warm enough to go sans cardigan. (I do have one beige cardigan that matches, but … eh, beige.)
The scissors print still makes me happy … I’d love to have another scissors-print dress, maybe one with a more scattered layout? Haven’t seen any scissors fabric that I like as much as this, though.
I think this was the first Simplicity 1577 I made — I can’t be absolutely sure, but I’m within a reasonable margin of error.
The reason I’m fairly sure that this was the first 1577 is that this fabric is pretty much my “ideal first try for a new pattern” fabric. First off, it’s quilting cotton, so it’s easy to sew and medium weight. Also, with most quilting cottons, if I make the dress within a year or so after buying the fabric and end up *really* screwing up, I can generally buy more on Etsy or Ebay, even if the stores are sold out.
Also, it’s really busy, so any weird seam bobbles or fitting issues tend to get lost in the print. And if I end up having to do some repairs, as I did here, they blend in a little better, too:
The perfect fabric for a “wearable muslin” is something where, if the dress is a success, I will be happy to wear it, but if it ends up in a tear-stained wad on the sewing room floor, I’m not inconsolable.
Occasionally I try out two new things at once with a new pattern, like this pocket piping — it’s called the “What the Hell Effect“: I’m already trying something new, what the hell, let’s try two things!
I would say my wearable muslins have about a 60-70% success rate, in terms of ending up with a wearable garment. My “I’m just going to jump right in with some fabric that I really love and see what happens” first tries have about a 40-50% success rate. So I do try to make up a new pattern in a less-dear fabric first. Ideally, it’s a fabric I like, but that I bought for $1/yard and have ten yards of … that’s perfect, since I can get two or three muslins out of something like that.
This one turned out to be really wearable — I’ve worn it a LOT.
Do you have a “wearable muslin” strategy?
This is one of my very favorite dresses, in that it’s a very cheerful dress to wear. I mean, how could it not be, it’s covered in bicycles!
Here’s a better view of the fabric (Michael Miller It’s A Boy Thing Bicycles) which, by the way, is still available in several colors:
I have no idea why “It’s A Boy Thing,” but I do know that when I wear this dress while actually riding a bicycle, I get lots of friendly waves from little kids. (And if you do not wave back to small children who wave at you when you are riding a bicycle, well, that’s between you and your total lack of joie de vivre.)
The zipper on this one is a strong B:
And the back:
This is another Simplicity 1577, of course, and I hope you’re not tired of these yet as there’s a whole bunch more a’comin. I didn’t remember until I started sorting out dresses for photographing 1) how many of these I’ve made and 2) how nicely it works in quilting cotton. There may be some stashbusting sewing coming up, now that this has been brought forcefully to mind.